Bruce Pearl wants to 'be disruptive rather than defensive,' and his team is built that way
Last season, Auburn didn't have the roster to replicate the high-turnover defense from its Final Four run. But Pearl has that again.
Bruce Pearl doesn’t want to offend any of his fellow college basketball coaches.
He made that clear when he was asked about how his defensive philosophy will be applied this season. Auburn’s head man knows that some elite programs — Virginia and Texas Tech, who were in the most recent Final Four with the Tigers, immediately come to mind — pride themselves on their suffocating systems.
That’s never been Pearl’s style. For decades, he rose through the coaching ranks with a defense that was predicated on full-court pressure and speeding the game up. It’s worked. In that Final Four season, Auburn ranked No. 2 nationally in both defensive turnover percentage and steal percentage.
“We really like to try to be disruptive defensively,” Pearl said this week. “Just by the word 'defensive' — I don't want to be too defensive and insult anybody or whatever — but I like to be disruptive rather than defensive. We want to make it hard for you to run the stuff that you li…